Aug 09 2013

My New eBook Available On Amazon

But it’s not the book you book think.

People who like this blog would probably like to see a book about my ed reform tales and research, and I have actually started that book a few times.  I even have a working title, something like, “The Attempted Hijacking of American Education:  How I helped a little old lady cross the most powerful men in the world.”  Assuming one day the corporate reform movement collapses, people will want to read a book about how that happened, and I suppose I could be proactive and be ready with a manuscript, but that’s not the way I work, I guess.

One thing readers of this blog probably don’t know about me is that writing a blog about education reform and using data and math to prove that people making big decisions that affect millions of students are liars is not something I really ‘like’ to do.  I do it because, right now, I feel that I ‘have’ to.  I’ve never been motivated by a cause like this before, and it is a strange experience for me, in that way.

If I could choose any job for myself, assuming I could support my family with it, I’d want to be a humorist.  Of my three talents I’ve demonstrated over the years:  math, teaching, and writing, I’d say that writing is the thing that I am best at.  I’m a competent mathematician, but not great.  I like to think that I’m a very good teacher.  Certainly I have my strengths and weaknesses, but still I think I am good at it.  But writing is something that I really feel I have a natural talent for, despite rarely reading the work of ‘master’ writers and having no formal training at it.  I know little about grammar.  Most of my sentences are run-ons, and I don’t care.  When I took the GRE a few years back, I only scored in the 25th percentile, I think, on the essay.  But some of my most proud accomplishments are the things I’ve written.  I wrote two books about teaching and co-wrote a children’s book over the past fourteen years.

But ‘the book’ I always wanted to write was my memoir, a collection of humorous stories about my life and my family.  David Sedaris, I suppose, is the current master of this type of book right now.

So after I got an agent for the children’s book, I sent her some samples of essays I’ve written about my life over the past twenty years and wanted to know if she could get me a book deal where I’d then write a bunch more.  She passed.  So I sulked for a while, this was about three years ago, and then I recently read something in The New York Times about self-publishing an eBook.

So I put together about 25 of these essays, separated them into three categories:  1) Life stories, which have some essays about some of my family members, and about relationships and fatherhood, 2) Teaching and the politics of education, with some of my writings about my teaching experience, but also some stuff about ed reform with two reprinted blog posts, and 3) From the archive with my college application essay, some humor columns I wrote in college, and a bizarre diary from when I was 11.  My plan was to charge $1.99, but for whatever reason, the cheapest you are permitted to make it is $2.99, so that’s what this book costs.

Part of my motivation for doing this is that I have never really found a way to make much money from the thing that I believe is my most natural talent.  My kids are 2 and 5 now, but before I know it they will be grown up and going off to college, I figure, so maybe this book of essays will bring in some money, and maybe people will like it so much that I’ll be able to use the sales statistics to get some kind of book deal for a longer book of this sort.  We’ll see.

Anyway, if from reading my blog over the years you feel like you’ve gotten to know me and like me, maybe you will be willing to shell out three bucks, about ten cents an essay, for this book.  If not, that’s fine too.

You can click here to get to the Amazon page for it.

10 Responses

  1. Got it. Can’t wait to read it tonight. Thanks!

    • Gary Rubinstein

      Great! If you like it, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave another comment here or even write a review on Amazon and also spread the word.

  2. Ced2114

    Can you do a Nook version too?

  3. Nice post. E-book sales have seen a recent decline in the US, according to many online sources quoting the Association of American Publishers. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Gary you are just so intelligent, well-spoken and generally awesome. I’m glad to say I knew you when you looked like that and I lived in your kitchen soliciting help from Joan.

  5. G

    What happened to the book? The link doesn’t work and I can’t find it on Amazon. I downloaded the sample and want to purchase the full book.

    • Gary Rubinstein

      Ah, unfortunately I was compelled to ‘unpublish’ the book when it hurt too many feelings of people who I thought had a better sense of humor about themselves. Check back in 15 years after some of them are dead and I will republish with many more essays then! — Gary

  6. DaveH

    Just read an article about you and the “Data” you collected about bad data. My wife whom is a Special Education teacher for over 32 years has been pummeled by the California and national system for over 13 years now. She has a MA in special education and a credential to teach at the community college as well. The common core system was abandoned however she kept her common core materials. She will now likely be subject to a re-education program to teach what she knows was the correct program all along prior to NCLB and California’s STAR system. The programs have been intentionally biased and misleading. Being a special education teacher it became quite obvious very early on that the “system” was not designed to meet educational achievement but to produce unbalanced numbers.
    For instance; Special education students with severe learning disability are required to take the state and the federal tests. These students were tested and evaluated as Mild/moderate I.D. S.L.D. O.H.I. AUT and S.L., there are more diagnosis labels, but if you do not recognize these acronyms then my point has already been established.
    My apologies, I have not read your books yet, but Special education could have been used as a very direct and to the point method for establishing the flawed concept of these programs due to the fact that these programs do not address Special education. The primary issue is that students that will likely not meet the requirements of standardized testing will essentially have no place within the performance systems. What happens to students that need special help and assistance, students that do not fit within he confines of the nationalized system or the performance based charter system? This system is also a system that is required to guarantee by the law equal access.
    Students that do not or more importantly cannot perform due to issues of educational disability have been ignored as valuable data.
    Why did the “system” use test data taken by testing special education students to evaluate overall performance? Students that by established and extensive testing have been identified as having educational disability?

  7. DaveH

    P.S. My post was intended to address the tyranny of the NO Child Left Behind programs and the subject of special education. My mention of common core was basically a side note and what they forced the schools to abandon (common core) in order to meet test numbers alone.

  8. Dave H

    Gary wrote
    “One thing readers of this blog probably don’t know about me is that writing a blog about education reform and using data and math to prove that people making big decisions that affect millions of students are liars is not something I really ‘like’ to do. I do it because, right now, I feel that I ‘have’ to. I’ve never been motivated by a cause like this before, and it is a strange experience for me, in that way.”

    Indeed, whether a local school district the state board of education or the federal dept of education, personal advancement and power is quite common. There are those that seem to have an alternate motive for their involvement in education or any other vocation. The proportions that this deliberate ruse on education has taken is disturbing and so anti education it is difficult for even myself, a non educator to grasp. Public education is a vast resource that has been manipulated for reasons that have little to do with achievement of children, intellectual discovery and more to do with the achievement of individuals seeking personal and political advancement.
    Hopefully, time will conclude that this was a dark and politically deceptive time for public education and most of all its teachers.

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